Collection 20 - Marshall McLuhan Collection

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Identity area

Reference code

CA ON00389 20

Title

Marshall McLuhan Collection

Date(s)

  • 1936-2007, predominant 1936-1970 (Creation)

Level of description

Collection

Extent and medium

1.16 m of textual records

Context area

Name of creator

(1911-1980)

Biographical history

Herbert Marshall McLuhan was born in Edmonton, Alberta on 21 July 1911 to Herbert Ernest McLuhan, a salesman, and Elsie Naomi (Hall) McLuhan, an actress and monologist. The family moved to Winnipeg, where McLuhan attended the University of Manitoba from 1929 to 1934, receiving a Bachelor or Arts and a Master of Arts in English literature.

After teaching English at various American universities, McLuhan returned to Canada in 1944 to teach at Assumption College in Windsor. From 1946 until shortly before his death, he taught English at St. Michael's College, University of Toronto. In 1963, McLuhan became the director of the University of Toronto's newly-established Centre for Culture and Technology. The Centre conducted research on questions of sensory perception and other communications-related issues and offered academic courses.

McLuhan's books include the following: The Mechanical Bride (1951), The Gutenberg Galaxy (1961), for which he was awarded the Governor General's prize for critical prose; Understanding Media (1964); The Medium is the Massage (1967, with Quentin Fiore); War and Peace in the Global Village (1968, with Quentin Fiore); Through the Vanishing Point (1968, with Harley Parker); Counterblast (1969, with Harley Parker); Culture is Our Business (1970); From Cliché to Archetype (1970, with Wilfred Watson); Take Today (1972, with Barrington Nevitt); and The City as Classroom (1977, with Eric McLuhan and Kathryn Hutchon).


  • Adapted from Library and Archives Canada's biographical note for the Marshall McLuhan fonds.

Archival history

The material was donated to the Archives by Brian Feeley, James Feeley's son, on September 27, 2008 and in December 2008.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Collection consists of monographs, articles, copies of articles, reviews and newspaper clippings written by and surrounding Marshall McLuhan. These records were collected and compiled by James Feeley in an effort to create a Marshall McLuhan bibliography; from 1962 until his death in 1993, Feeley worked on McLuhan's bibliography, with help from McLuhan's secretary Mrs. M. Stewart.

Marshall McLuhan Collection is arranged into nine series:
1. Published Material Written by McLuhan
2. Book Reviews Written by Marshall McLuhan
3. Conference Proceedings Written by Marshall McLuhan
4. Published Material Written about Marshall McLuhan
5. Interviews with Marshall McLuhan
6. Reviews of Books Written by Marshall McLuhan
7. Reviews of Books Written About Marshall McLuhan
8. Copies of the Varsity/University of Toronto Graduate featuring Explorations
9. Ephemera – Book Jackets; Advertisements/Pamphlets; Transcripts; Unpublished Materials Written by Marshall McLuhan

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Accruals

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Finding aids

See Marshall McLuhan Material in the John M. Kelly Library Finding Guide for more information about the collection. This Finding Guide is comprehensive, but lists all material related to Marshall McLuhan in the John M. Kelly Library and includes material in the Marshall McLuhan Collection, Sheila Watson fonds and Sheila Watson library, the Fred Flahiff fonds, the Wilfred Watson fonds, the James Feeley fonds, the University of St. Michael’s College Archives and the Pontifical Institute of Medieaval Studies.

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